Wednesday, October 25, 2017

New Jersey Sues Township Over Attempts To Exclude Orthodox Jews

Yesterday, New Jersey's Attorney general filed a religious discrimination suit against Mahwah Township.  The complaint (full text) in Porrino v. Township of Mahwah, (NJ Super. Ct., filed 10/24/2017) is summarized in a press release from the Attorney General's Office:
Likening the conduct of Mahwah township officials to 1950s-era “white flight” suburbanites who sought to keep African-Americans from moving into their neighborhoods, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced today that the State has filed a Superior Court complaint against the Mahwah Township Council and the Township of Mahwah alleging that, in an effort to stave off a feared influx of Orthodox Jewish persons from outside New Jersey, it approved two unlawfully discriminatory ordinances.
One of those ordinances discriminated by banning non-New-Jersey-residents from using Mahwah’s public parks, the State alleges. The other – an ordinance amendment – discriminated by effectively banning the posting, on utility poles, of plastic strips called “lechis” that denote the boundaries of an eruv used by Sabbath-observant Orthodox Jews. The complaint also challenges actions the township has taken to have an existing eruv removed.
[Thanks to Steven H. Sholk for the lead.]